Dr. Dre has directly apologized for numerous incidents of assault that he committed against women during his time with his influential rap group N.W.A. Speaking to The New York Times, Dre addressed—albeit not by name—his violent attacks against journalist Dee Barnes, his one-time romantic partner Michel’le, and rapper Tairrie B—saying:
“Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Dre has discussed the various allegations against him before, most recently in a Rolling Stone cover story promoting Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. biopic whose release (and omission of the assaults) lead to renewed media interest in the attacks. In the Rolling Stone article, Dre said, “I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life,” reiterating that he’s a very different man from the one who dismissed the assault on Barnes in 1991 by saying, “It ain’t no big thing–I just threw her through a door.” The New York Times piece is the first time he’s publicly and directly apologized to his victims for the attacks.
Interestingly, Dre’s business partner, Apple, also weighed in on the discussion, with the company issuing a press release saying, “Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and, after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.” Now that the iPod manufacturer has weighed in positively on the Compton producer and headphone mogul’s public redemption, it’s presumably only a matter of time before Barnes and his other victims follow suit.